Posts tagged elopement photography
Amber + Chris's Elopement at the St. Jude's Chapel of Hope in Asheville, NC

Susan Marlan of Beloved Ceremony officiated the simple ceremony, and because this was a “true elopement” I also got to serve as a witness. Just after the bride and groom exchanged rings, and just before their first kiss, Chris leaned forward and rested his forehead against Amber’s, where they simply stood breathing each other in for a few moments. It’s these moments, the quiet and intimate scenes, that impact me the most - both as a photographer capturing the emotions before me and a human who feels everything deeply.

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Photo Album || Keya + Eric's Engagement + Elopement Weekend

My goal was to make the two separate photoshoots blend together into one cohesive story about their lovely weekend, although we only spend about 5 hours total with them. As we ended our engagement shoot (see the full post here) with the most beautiful summer sunset leaving our couple in awe, I decided to set the scene with this opening photo of our Blue Ridge Mountains bathed in color. Photos-wise, from there I moved forward chronologically, ending our first day’s image showing Keya and Eric walking into the distance, alluding to their walk towards their future as husband and wife.

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2018 Reflection: The Building Year

I like to use the changing of the calendar year as a start- and end-point to evaluate my metrics and to reevaluate my goals. This is the first time that I ended the year with a very different sense of achievement than I began: I entered hoping to bolster my bookings and set my goals accordingly. But I ended having learned the true “why” behind my drive to do each of these types of photoshoots. In essence, my work has become not just about the end product (typically a storybook photo album) but the entire experience of the session, and by extension an enjoyment of life.

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Portland in November Days 1-3: A Little Bit of Everything

I finished up what turned out to be one of the best days I’d had in a good while with a delicious meal at Thai Peacock. Noodles are good in all circumstances, but perfectly cooked Pad Thai with crispy trout after a very long day of photography really hit the spot. As I took the bus back to the house, I reflected once again on what an amazing journey it’s been: from that first feeling that Portland was the place to start, to this day capturing the love of two people I would never have gotten to be friends with had I not taken the initial plunge. Sometimes things happen slower than you want them to, but now that I’m on the other side enjoying the fruits of all my hard work, I can see that every bit of it was worth it for a day like this.

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Dry Falls Waterfall Elopement || Brianna + Nick

The first, and one of my favorite couple’s photos to date, is the backlit series from directly under the falls. I got wet, the bride and groom got wet, my camera got wet, but it was totally worth it. Initially, we had an umbrella to keep their hair safe from the now pouring rain, but the umbrella was all but forgotten as they kissed, sharing a romantic moment under the waterfall completely to themselves (hooray for telephotos!)

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Pisgah Inn Elopement || June 9, 2018

When Keya found me on Instagram last year, she and Eric were planning a small family ceremony at Pisgah Inn with 20 or so people. Fate and some family health issues intervened, but their parents didn't want the two lovebirds to wait any longer. So, as planned, Emmaleigh, Erin and I met Keya and Eric at Pisgah on the most perfect blue sky afternoon where they committed their lives to each other. Including the other inn visitors watching from their balconies, there was not a dry eye in the field! I can't wait to share more from this beautiful day!

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Iceland Destination Photoshoot || Erin's Travel Portrait Session

In writing these posts about Erin's portrait sessions while we were abroad earlier this month, I went a bit backwards since we actually went to Iceland first. This isn't because I enjoyed London more; on the contrary, if given the choice between photographing a classy engagement session in London and an adventure elopement in Iceland, I would undoubtedly choose the latter. And that is precisely the reason. 

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London Destination Photoshoot || Erin's Travel Portrait Session

The most challenging aspect of documenting a vacation isn't watching for the moments or framing the scene, it is (by far) working with the available light even at 2pm on a bright and sunny day. However, this is precisely why I enjoy this type of session! Working in countless less-than-ideal lighting conditions in my wedding work has instilled in me a deep appreciation for harsh lighting, particularly in making use of natural spotlights to dramatically highlight my subjects' face and little else. Although, occasionally, a bright backlight leaving the face in shadow is equally as pleasing to me, at least when my subject is running through a field of wildflowers. 

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London Day 1: Sightseeing and Sunshine

We successfully began our first morning in London by completely sleeping through it, awaking after noon. To shed our remaining layer of sleepiness, we stepped out into the warm, British sunshine, picked a direction, and set off on our first international run. Since I've only run once in the past 5 months I can't say it was terribly pleasant, but getting to finally stretch our legs while simultaneously exploring our neighborhood was enjoyable.

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Iceland: Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

I like to think that as long as things don’t go horribly wrong, mishaps can soon turn to funny stories, particularly regarding amusing travel antics. This trip is apparently trying to test that belief.

We started the whole adventure 2 days ago now, driving from Asheville to Baltimore to catch our fight (WOW Air was running a 50% off sale from this airport so we had to take advantage.) Though we left with several hours’ wiggle room, that all came to a screeching halt a few hours in when we hit construction traffic…something like 5 separate times. One hour down, we were undeterred until we hit Baltimore traffic whereupon our last bit of wiggle room quickly slipped away as we sweltered in dead-stopped traffic.

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Allie + Eric || Arboretum Elopement Photo Album

Among many other reasons, one of my favorite things about elopements is the amount of time I get to spend with each couple taking photos of simply the two of them. As we had over an hour of time for just couple's portraits at the North Carolina Arboretum, Allie and Eric's photo album is a beautiful showcase of their joy in becoming one! 

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Bohemian Sunset Styled Shoot at Black Balsam Knob

This was one of those shoots where I saw the location (on a shoot I was modeling for, of all things) and without any plans in place immediately created a scene in my head to shoot that I knew I needed to bring to reality. I knew I wanted Lauren, one of my gorgeous 2017 brides, to model and that if at all possible I wanted to put her in a whimsical gown from one of my favorite Asheville bridal shops (Wildflower Bridal) paired with a bright color palette from Swannanoa Flower shop and Cakes by Gray for a bohemian mountaintop styled elopement. As the shoot would have to be right in the middle of wedding season to make sure it was warm enough, I knew it would be a long shot, so when every one of these selections worked out, I was so excited I was bouncing off the walls! Of course, no shoot is ever that easy and in the end we only had about 25 minutes or so of photography, yet I couldn't be more thrilled with the results. 

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Jen and John's Mt. Tabor Elopement in Portland, OR

These two almost-weds had selected the crest of Mt. Tabor Park as the place to make their vows, so we grabbed what we needed for their ceremony and hiked up the numerous steps to the top, coming out into a grove of evergreen trees. Jen and John both practice mindfulness, so they wanted to begin their ceremony with a few minutes of silence as they readied themselves for marriage. Their unique idea was to set up a circle of flowers which they would each step into once they were ready to begin. In a stroke of genius, Jen had the idea to bring a hula hoop in order to create a perfect circle (this hula hoop also served a photographic purpose later in the shoot) so Jen, John and their two friends/witnesses set about selecting greenery and placing flowers from Costco around the hoop.  

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The Importance of Laughter

All the time I get the question "What is your favorite subject to photograph? For the first couple years of my career I would waffle between "Oh, I just really like photographing people" and "Well, I don't think I can choose - I love everything I shoot!" But that's not entirely accurate. I shoot everything from weddings to athletic events to product shoots to landscapes to maternity sessions professionally - sometimes all in the same week - but over and over again the shoots that I enjoy most and specifically the images I am happiest with are those that include laughter. 

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Goals for 2017

We're a week in to the new year so it's about the time that outrageous new year's resolutions have run their course and realistic goals begin to take shape. For me, I spent the week (when I wasn't working on clients' work) crunching last year's numbers, analyzing what worked and what didn't and especially journaling about the direction I would like my company to go. As this long term vision is starting to take root (I'll keep the details to myself for now, wouldn't want to spoil the fun!) I've narrowed down a few of my goals for 2017 to get me on my way: 

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